what they can’t take

Screen shot 2013-04-19 at 11.14.31 AM


Dear Terrorist,

Pay attention.

This is how this is going to go.

You had me exactly where you wanted me this morning.

I was terrified.

Because of you, we are ‘sheltered’ in our home. As per police orders, the door is locked, the alarm is on, and we are staying away from the windows.

Because of you, my husband went to the airport this morning, but didn’t get on the plane.

Because of you, we have shut down our city to find you. And we will.

Because of you, an hour ago, I was pacing back and forth in my kitchen, trying to make breakfast. I opened the refrigerator door four times before I could remember why.

Because of you, I was scared.

You had me where you wanted me.

But you don’t anymore.

I will stay here, because it’s safe. Because it’s the right thing to do for my children. Because we need to keep out of the way so that our brave law enforcement officers and other first responders can do their job and bring you to justice.

So I will stay here.

But I’m not letting you in. Not in my door, and not into my heart.

Not here — not within the walls of my home, this sacred space of family and love and safety. I will not be afraid here – not because of you.

What I *will* do is what I’d planned to do this morning. To share the wonder of my child’s imagination.

And then I’m going to play with my kids.

Here, in the safety of my home.

Where you are not welcome.


Yesterday, Brooke created Nursery Rhyme Land.

A land of imagination.

A land where a pool ring could be an egg and an egg could come to life.

A land where everything is possible and autism’s myths are shattered.

A land where love wins.

A land you do not have the power to destroy.



Mary and her Little Lamb


photo 2

The Itsy Bitsy Spider (Yup, the brush is the spider and the cup is the water spout. How awesome is THAT?)


photo 1

The Monkey in the Middle (She said it was a nursery rhyme. Go with it.)


photo 3

Mary Mary Quite Contrary (see her garden?)


photo 4

Hickory Dickory Dock (The Easter basket is the clock)


Humpty Dumpty (When I wouldn’t let her use a real egg, she went and found this. The Tupperware is the wall. I know. Even more awesome.)



Little Miss Muffet with her hand in the curds and whey.


And now if you’ll excuse me, I have some playing to do.
Ed note: A million thanks to the first responders who are facing unthinkable danger to keep us safe today as every day. We are grateful.

17 thoughts on “what they can’t take

  1. This is amazing and no terrorist can take this away. Stay safe. I’m so relieved you’re all together. Play!

    Love you,

  2. That is AMAZING! – For Brooke:
    There was a little girl
    With long brown hair
    And when she smiled and played
    Hearts lit up everywhere!!

  3. I love Nursery Rhyme Land! And as a side note, I am in awe watching these officers work together in such a coordinated and seemless way. Just saw a Duxbury police car driving in Watertown on the news. We are all in this together, and as horrible as the circumstances are, watching the helpers still amazes me. Stay safe, and try to enjoy your forced staycation.

  4. Enjoy Nusery Rhyme Land on your unexpected Day Off. I wish it was a true vacation day for the right reason, but you are all together.

    WE are all in this thing together. Stay safe.

  5. Holy crap…..nursery rhyme land is AWESOME!!!! Still hoping for the day my girl will listen that carefully to stories! She does surprise me with what she takes in and remembers….but stories from books are still hard for her.

    Wish we could all go to nursery rhyme land right about now…..again…stay safe! You are in our thoughts and prayers!

  6. I just love this! Thank you again for helping me see the good in the bad. I try everyday to apply this in our lives, not just where autism is concerned but in all aspects of each day. I am so very proud of Brooke for breaking through the barriers of autism! It is so great that it is in her way as well! My Ben is much like Brooke in this way. He astounds us almost everyday with the strides he is making! Another thing I love is Brooke and Ben seem to have similar ways of play and imagination but Ben is only 5& 1/2 so it’s sort of like a little peek into what Ben may be like at Brooke’s age so thank you for that! I am keeping your family and great city and the brave law enforcement and other officials in my prayers!

  7. Nursery Rhyme Land is just brilliant! However, I have to leave a comment that isn’t appropriate for young eyes, so feel free to censor if necessary. Let’s just say I’m a little concerned that Little Miss Muffet had a rough night…with Jack?…or perhaps Jill?…or both! Look at that hair…and where did she leave her pants?

  8. I am keeping your family and friends in our prayers. I know how scary it is. When my son was about 4 the police and swat and everyone decided to do a raid on a meth lab in the house that was directly behind ours. Nice, huh. We did even know that the house was a big drug house, you know talk to the people who lived there, the whole bit. But the real scary thing is, that they didn’t warn us. We were outside swimming in our pool with family over. Next thing you know there’s so much commotion between all the armed people, the police dogs etc. The forced us into our house and told us to stay away from all windows and doors, to go hide in a closet in the middle of the house. I was horrible. I never want to go through that again. Please stay safe. I am so glad that Brooke made her Nursery Rhyme land. She is so creative.

  9. Nursery Rhyme Land sounds awesome! Go Brooke! I just wanted to say “Thank You” for posting your letter to the Terrorist… I actually read it over the phone to my daughter this morning who is a college freshman in Boston on lockdown…she is scared; she is angry; she wants to know why. I am over 2 hours away in NY and have no answers and cannot be there to hug her to reassure her. I read it to her to let her know that others are feeling the same way and that Boston folks hang together, hang tough and hang tight. She loved it and I truly believe it gave her strength today. Please stay safe and again, thank you!

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